State superintendent visits Jones County schools, talks consolidation

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JONES COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - The North Carolina Superintendent of Public Schools, Mark Johnson, is visiting school districts across the state.

Wednesday, Johnson toured Jones Senior High School and Jones Middle School.

Johnson spoke with the principals and the superintendent in Jones County to learn more about the district's innovative teaching initiatives and their future goals.

One of the district's biggest teaching initiatives is bringing technology to the students.

The district says it provides every student in the high school with a laptop so they can do work on the computer, both in the classroom and at home.

Johnson says the statistics show that these efforts are successful based on the county's low drop out rates and high graduation rates.

"The technology is something that we are really looking at how we can help other districts immediately, in the next few years, scale up their own use of technology in the classroom," Johnson says.

Johnson also learned about the district's goal to consolidate the high school, middle school and an elementary school into one building by the fall of 2019.

The district says the buildings are more than 60 years old and are becoming too outdated for the technological needs of the classrooms.

Johnson says the decision to consolidate the schools into a new building creates a better learning environment for children.

The district has already approved the plans for constructing the new $38 million building.

On Monday, the county commissioners and board of education plan to figure out more of the details on how they will fund the project.

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The State Superintendent of Public Schools is heading east Wednesday to visit two Eastern Carolina schools.

Superintendent Mark Johnson is set to visit two schools in Jones County.

This is part of his statewide listening tour to learn more about innovative teaching practices and programs being used across the state.

Johnson will tour Jones Senior High School and Jones Middle School between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Wednesday.